Analysis

Perhaps something good will come out of the 2020 Coronavirus hysteria

“Covid19” is gripping America in a mass hysteria. Maybe some good will come out of the experience.

1. Paid leave reforms

Companies are overhauling paid leave policies, especially for hourly a gig workers:

Walmart, which had an employee in Kentucky test positive for the virus, will not penalize hourly workers who call in sick, and any employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are placed in quarantine will receive two weeks of pay that won’t come out of their normal paid leave. Uber is also providing two weeks worth of pay to any drivers or delivery workers who have tested positive or are isolated, while Lyft said it would compensate its drivers, as well, though the company did not elaborate.

Hopefully the changes will be permanent.

2. Cruise ship industry reform

Cruise ship industry has long been under pressure to improve their processes and procedures with regards to sick passengers:

Matsui’s bill, which she’s introduced every Congress since 2013, would require the constant presence and availability of a physician on a cruise vessel and enough qualified medical staff to treat the number of passengers on board. Most ships don’t have nearly that level of medical staffing, according to cruise lawyer Jim Walker, who has been tracking norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships for years.

We may finally see the industry implement the changes:

Speaking to reporters at a briefing at the White House on Monday evening, Pence said that the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard were finalizing a proposal in consultation with cruise lines to adopt new medical screening procedures and standard practices for evacuating passengers “who may contract coronavirus or a serious illness” while on board a ship.

3. Telecommuting and remote work

Most, if not all, white collar work can be done remotely without being present in any single specific location. The tools to do so have been around for years. In particular, those of us in tech industry can easily work from home full time.

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